A group of engineers led by Ken Olsen left MIT´s Lincoln Laboratory founded a company based on the new transistor technology. In August, they formally created Digital Equipment Corp. It initially set up shop in a largely vacant woolen mill in Maynard, Mass., where all aspects of product development from management to manufacturing took place.
In Minneapolis, the original Engineering Research Associates group led by Bill Norris left Sperry Rand to form a new company, Control Data Corp., which soon released its model 1604 computer.
Software & Languages
Sperry Rand released a commercial compiler for its UNIVAC. Developed by Grace Hopper as a refinement of her earlier innovation, the A-0 compiler, the new version was called MATH-MATIC. Earlier work on the A-0 and A-2 compilers led to the development of the first English-language business data processing compiler, B-0 (FLOW-MATIC), also completed in 1957. FLOW-MATIC served as a model on which to build with input from other sources.
IBM 704 FORTRAN
A new language, FORTRAN (short for FORmula TRANslator), enabled a computer to perform a repetitive task from a single set of instructions by using loops. The first commercial FORTRAN program ran at Westinghouse, producing a missing comma diagnostic. A successful attempt followed.